[OPE-L] part of a new "enclosure movement" in China?

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sun Dec 10 2006 - 09:58:03 EST

This story reminds me of the 1975-76 eviction of squatters in
Manilla when Imelda Marcos was the governor of the capital city-region
of Metro Manilla.  In that case, which were mass evictions to clear
ground for an International Convention Centre which would host a
World Bank conference and Miss World pageant.  With increasing urban
populations, these kind of "land use" conflicts between poor communities
and the state and capital have become more frequent.  Can it be said
to be part of a "new enclosure" movement?  Or, is it just "business
as usual" for capitalist development in urban areas?

In solidarity, Jerry


Eviction as an olympic event

From Agence France Presse, datelined 6 December:

Beijing will demolish the final 22 squatter "villages" remaining in the
city by June as part of efforts to beautify China's capital ahead of the
2008 Olympics, state press said Wednesday.

More than three million square meters (32 million square feet) of
"illegal" structures will be destroyed during the campaign, which will
focus on areas around the Olympic Village and other Games venues, the
Beijing Daily reported.

Following the campaign the city will have "rectified" 171 such
"villages" in its efforts to prepare for the Games, the paper said,
citing a meeting held Tuesday.

The villages are made up of buildings housing some of the city's huge
migrant worker population, a phenomenon that has appeared in cities all
across China as the nation undergoes an unprecedented urbanization process.

There were no details about how many people live in the final 22
villages to be destroyed, or the total number who will have been forced
to find new homes from all 171 villages.

The report also made no mention of where these people would be moved to.

Officially there are 3.6 million migrant workers living legally in
Beijing out of a total population of 15.4 million people.

However, there are no figures on the many other people from rural China
who have come to the Chinese capital for work and not registered.

Earlier this year, the city government insisted the legal rights of
migrant workers would be protected ahead of the 2008 Olympics, following
reports that up to a million people could be evicted to spruce up the
city's image.

The defense came amid accusations by overseas human rights groups such
as the New York-based Human Rights Watch that Beijing authorities had
already embarked on a campaign to close schools serving the children of

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